Microsoft’s first-ever release of SQL Server for Linux finally gives customers flexibility to use its DBMS with the widely used Linux operating system. Data and analytics leaders in charge of DBMS should evaluate SQL Server as a fully competitive Linux DBMS option.
Microsoft's first-ever release of SQL Server for Linux finally gives customers flexibility to use its DBMS with the widely used Linux operating system. Data and analytics leaders in charge of DBMSs should evaluate SQL Server as a fully competitive Linux DBMS option.
Based on numerous discussions with Gartner clients, we have found that many organizations refrained from adopting SQL Server for fear that a key part of their data management strategy would be locked into a single operating system, Microsoft Windows. At the same time, even stalwart Microsoft customers were embracing Linux for a growing number of new and vital infrastructure projects.
With SQL Server on Linux, data and analytics leaders now have a choice of operating systems. In this sense, Microsoft removes a potential barrier to entry.
Microsoft has already achieved a lower database management system (DBMS) price point compared to its non-open-source rivals. It also offers subscription-based pricing with support for SQL Server on-premises or in hybrid cloud/on-premises deployments. Finally, SQL Server has license portability between cloud and on-premises. Combine these advantages with SQL Server’s functionality and features, and we believe that data and analytics leaders increasingly will choose SQL Server on Linux, rather than rival products, for an array of use cases.
In 2016, overall DBMS revenue grew at 7.7%, according to Gartner software market estimates (see "Market Share: All Software Markets, Worldwide, 2016" ). But Microsoft grew at 10.3%, strengthening its No. 2 position, trailing only Oracle (it surpassed IBM in 2014). Oracle DBMS revenue grew more slowly than the market, at just 3.3%, off a much larger base that includes the Linux workloads that Microsoft did not compete for — until now.
SQL Server compatibility with Azure SQL Database means that organizations have the flexibility to make cloud/on-premises decisions as needed, supporting fully a hybrid cloud/on-premises environment. They also have portability of licenses between on-premises and Azure.
Microsoft is not new to the Linux OS environment, having supported it in Azure for several years. However, as SQL Server is the first major product from Microsoft to run on the Linux OS, we recommend careful tracking of Microsoft’s capabilities for customer support on Linux.
CIOs and data and analytics leaders responsible for DBMSs should consider SQL Server to be equal to other DBMS engines and:
Revisit, possibly changing, their data management strategy to include SQL Server as an enterprise DBMS choice on Linux.
Consider SQL Server as a serious choice for hybrid cloud/on-premises deployments.
Use SQL Server as leverage when negotiating with other DBMS vendors now that Windows lock-in is no longer an issue.
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